Greenwich: St Alphege and Royal visit

The Archbishop of Canterbury sailed from Southwark to Greenwich today for a service marking the 1000th anniversary of the murder of his predecessor St Alphege.

Meanwhile many others, led by the Bishop of Woolwich and Dean of Southwark, walked the Thames Path via Deptford to Greenwich.

Greenwich’s St Alfege Church (different spelling) stands on the site of martyrdom.

These are momentous days for Greenwich which became  a Royal Borough this year.

The Queen will be there on Wednesday 25 April to see the restored Cutty Sark and open the Royal River exhibition at the National Maritime Museum.

Thames Path: Wandsworth update

I have spent a pleasant sunny afternoon walking along the Wandsworth riverside.


The main aim was to look at the new tunnel under Wandsworth Bridge. Now at Plantation Wharf you remain by the water and continue upstream passing the Waterfront pub. At the bridge the path turns inland but, instead of going up steps to traffic, the walker can turn sharp right to go under the road.

It’s  a wide arch with a huge map of the Thames Path in west London on the wall.

After this you keep forward into the short road ahead called Pier Terrace. At the crossroads by the Ship Inn go ahead and right to regain the river.


I took the opportunity to walk on to the Wandle. Having crossed Bell Lane Creek I was able to go sharp right with the River Wandle and follow this on a permissive path which joins the Thames and soon after the wide promenade leading direct to Wandsworth Park.

This means that you can avoid the small industrial estate. Sadly you now do not pass the unique Cat’s back pub. But this new path is much better and provides a brief rural feel at the confluence of the Wandle and Thames.

See pages 44 & 45.


Thames Path: Sea Containers path closure

A section of path upstream of Blackfriars Bridge is being closed after 8pm most nights for the next few weeks.

This is between Marigold Alley and Oxo Tower Wharf  to allow for scaffolding to be erected in front of Sea Containers House which is being converted into an hotel.

Signs are going up but the easiest alternative is:

Turn inland at Marigold Alley, go right into Upper Ground and on reaching a bus stop turn right into Bernie Spain Garden to rejoin the river.

Dr Salter: Have your say on statue

The seated figure of Dr Alfred Salter looking at his daughter and cat was a popular sculpture on the Thames Path near Rotherhithe.

Last year Dr Salter was stolen overnight and afterwards Southwark Council quickly put the daughter and cat in storage.

Now the council is consulting on the way forward and where to put the replacement statue.

The London SE1 website has the details.

Jean Leslie ‘s Little Wittenham photo

The Times (£) on this Easter Monday has an obituary of Jean Leslie along with her photograph taken in 1942 by the Thames at Little Wittenham.

The MI5 secretary had been swimming in the river just before the black and white photograph was taken. This picture was to be ‘Pam’, girlfriend of a fictitious Major Martin. This was the name given to a body tipped overboard with forged papers and the photo.

It was an elaborate scheme to deceive the Germans as told in the film The Man Who Never Was.

I think the houses seen in the distance behind the young Jean, or ‘Pam’, are in Dorchester-on-Thames.